U.N. body calls on U.S. to ‘unequivocally’ reject racism after Charlottesville

Chalk messages and flowers cover the street in a makeshift memorial in Charlottesville, Va., Thursday -- where Heather Heyer was killed by a vehicle that rammed protesters on Aug. 12. Wednesday, a U.N. committee called on the U.S. government to "unequivocally and unconditionally reject and condemn" racism. Photo by Erin Schaff/UPI

Aug. 23 (UPI) — A United Nations committee on Wednesday called on the U.S. government to “unequivocally and unconditionally reject and condemn” racism following this month’s violent protests in Charlottesville.

The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination issued its call to action though an “early warning and urgent action” procedure.

“There should be no place in the world for racist white supremacist ideas or any similar ideologies that reject the core human rights principles of human dignity and equality,” committee head Anastasia Crickley said in a statement. “We are alarmed by the racist demonstrations, with overtly racist slogans, chants and salutes by white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan, promoting white supremacy and inciting racial discrimination and hatred.”

The U.N. body called for a thorough investigation into the killing of Heather Heyer, the woman who died when a car drove into a crowd of counter-protesters in Charlottesville. Police say rally attendee James A. Fields, Jr., drove the car.

Crickley called for U.S. authorities to take concrete measures to “to address the root causes of the proliferation of such racist manifestations.”

“We call on the U.S. government to investigate thoroughly the phenomenon of racial discrimination targeting, in particular, people of African descent, ethnic or ethno-religious minorities, and migrants,” Crickley said.

The U.N. body also said the United States should assure people peacefully protesting are not denied their right to freedom of expression, adding that those rights should not be “misused to promote racist hate speech and racist crimes.”

President Donald Trump has been roundly criticized for what some viewed as a tepid response to the deadly clashes in Virginia on Aug. 12 — and for placing blame on both sides of the demonstrations.

In Phoenix for a campaign-style rally Tuesday night, the president again touched on the issue.

“Last night in Phoenix I read the things from my statements on Charlottesville that the Fake News Media didn’t cover fairly. People got it!” Trump tweeted Wednesday.

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